Beginner Guides Fitness

Tue 23 Aug, 2016

5 Ways to Leg Press


5 ways to leg press - foot placement variations - Simply Gym

If you want to continually progress with your workout program, these will help take you there:

If you are looking for ways to develop and adapt your leg day, then you should try out different foot placement variations on the leg press machine.

leg press foot placement

High feet leg press

Placing the feet higher up on the foot pad encourages the hamstrings and glutes to activate, which takes stress off the quads. This is a great substitute for deadlifts and hamstring curls. Most people will find that they are able to lift the most weight in this position.

Low feet leg press

Placing the feet low on the foot pad totally shifts the stress loading pattern of the exercise onto the quads. This is the best substitute for squats, but if you suffer from knee pain, go easy on this one.

Wide stance leg press

By bringing your further apart, the emphasis will move on to your inner quad muscles. This move is a similar one to a standard sumo squat.

Narrow stance leg press

By bringing your feet closer together you will work the outer thigh muscles. The lower you place your narrow stance, the more quad dominant this variation will be.  Note that by placing the feet close together though you will already be placing more emphasis on the quad muscles, so this is a very good variation or those who want to build up this muscle in particular.

Whichever variation you choose to try, simply change between the variations every 2-4 weeks and you’ll continue to make the gains that you’re after.

What are the benefits of the leg press machine?

  • It’s a great option for those of you who have difficulty squatting due to back or knee pain, because it reduces the stress load on the back, whilst challenging your leg muscles.
  • The extension of your knees against the resistance offered by the leg press works your thigh muscle
  • The action of extending your hips works your butt or gluteus maximus muscles
  • The load-bearing effect of the leg press strengthens your legs bones
  • They strengthen your knee and hip joints
  • The leg press can be used to develop strength and/or muscle size depending on the type of training you perform.

The only small problem with the standard leg press is that if you only perform it in the standard foot placement way, eventually your muscles are going to adapt and you could fail to progress. But that’s where these leg press variations come into play.